Andrea Kimi Antonelli

Antonelli taken out by “numpty” after showing potential with first F2 win – Wolff

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff defended junior driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli over the collision which eliminated him from the first race after his breakthrough win in Formula 2.

Antonelli is under consideration for a promotion to Formula 1 with the team next year as it seeks a replacement for Lewis Hamilton. The 17-year-old watched Hamilton end his two-and-a-half year victory drought from the Mercedes garage on Sunday.

“I had this moment where you see the greatest British driver checking out with us at the British Grand Prix, and in the garage you had this young Italian who hasn’t got a driving licence that was watching that scene, and I bet he thought ‘I want to be that one day’,” Wolff told media including RaceFans.

He heaped praise on Antonelli’s victory in Saturday’s sprint race which was run in heavily wet conditions and red-flagged at one stage due to the amount of water on the circuit. Antonelli took the chequered flag in the partial-reverse-grid race 8.6 seconds ahead of Zane Maloney.

“Seeing him on Saturday walking over the water, at times two seconds quicker than everybody, you can see the talent and the ability and the potential this young guy has,” said Wolff. “Winning that race I think took a lot of weight off his shoulders.”

However Antonelli was taken out on the first lap of the feature race by Kush Maini, whom he passed after starting two places behind the Invicta driver in the middle of the grid.

“Today it was DNF but it wasn’t his fault,” said Wolff. “Susie [Wolff] always says ‘you qualify with numpties, you race with numpties’.”

The stewards held Maini responsible for the collision, noting he blamed a brake problem and apologised to Antonelli. “The stewards determined that car nine [Maini] was wholly to blame for the collision with car four [Antonelli] and therefore imposed a 10-second time penalty plus two penalty points,” they ruled. These were Maini’s first penalty points of the season.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Miss nothing from RaceFans

Get a daily email with all our latest stories - and nothing else. No marketing, no ads. Sign up here:

2024 British Grand Prix

Browse all 2024 British Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

25 comments on “Antonelli taken out by “numpty” after showing potential with first F2 win – Wolff”

  1. While Maini took the blame for this one, I can’t say Kimi is fully blameless for not avoiding this incident. Cutting across from the track to take the apex on the first lap is never a wise move and he should have expected another car to be there. He could’ve easily taken that corner differently and not retired the car, a rookie mistake.

    1. Any driver who lets themselves be crashed into by other drivers has no place in Formula One. It is much too dangerous. Imagine if Antonelli had not been there, then Maini would have hit nobody. Massively unfair to Maini when other drivers do not respect the space he needs.

      1. @uzsjgb you must be new to F1.

        1. Duck! (wooosh)

        2. He has said a lot of things that make no sense and make him sound like he just started watching F1.

      2. I’m here for this refreshing humor. Sarcasm is a dying art on electronic media because it requires you to actually command a language.

        1. as Arj Barker once commented, someone needs to invent a “Sarcastier” font, it would make it soo much better for those not in command of their language. :)

    2. Morrow (@surlycowyahoo-com)
      9th July 2024, 20:44

      & yet, how many ‘experienced’ aggressive F1 guys have we do the same thing…

    3. Cutting across from the track to take the apex on the first lap is never a wise move

      @sjaakfoo except he was nowhere close to the apex. At least a car’s width between him and the apex. At some opoint you DO have to take the corner you know.

  2. I’d say this is pretty disrespectful from Wolff to Maini to call him a numpty (I had to google it).

    1. Well, you probably won’t have to google haughty, which Wollf definitely is (among other things). My opinion of him is getting lower and lower, pretty much the same with Horner. Perhaps being Netflix divas didn’t help their sense for dignity and showing some class.
      Should we care though? F1 soap opera…

  3. Haha, I was wondering where an Austrian learned a fine Scots word like “numpty”, and it’s Susie of course…

    1. Non-Scottish person here. Is numpty taken straight from Scots, or is it a slang term like brellie or telly? If so, is it short for numbskull or something? Empty numbskull, perhaps? Genuinely curious!

      1. BLS (@brightlampshade)
        9th July 2024, 13:45

        “short” for numps I believe, which I’m sure will present a follow up question.

        Numpty has always been an inoffensive term as far as I’m concerned, more a jokey insult than a meaningful one.

        1. @brightlampshade How about jobby numps? A bit rich? :)

  4. It takes a “numpty” to recognise another.

  5. So Tsunoda gets a fine and Wolff… doesn’t? Stay classy.

    Besides, Maini has four podiums to his name this year. That’s four times as many as Antonelli. Who’s calling who what, now?

    1. Morrow (@surlycowyahoo-com)
      9th July 2024, 20:45

      interesting point!

    2. quote of the day

  6. isthatglock21
    9th July 2024, 19:30

    Hmm…Very harsh words. Kush Maini is far from a numpty, the kids had a great time in F2 & you can’t fully absolve Kimi of any blame in that. Many drivers I would call a numpty in F2 in recent times….Maini is not one. Just goes to show how little focus Toto/His wife pay to junior series when it doesn’t concern them.

    Reply moderated
    1. Or what lengths they will go to in order to protect their own interests.

      I wonder how this looks to the F2 community.

      1. It certainly looks bad to the F1 community.

  7. A.Barrister
    10th July 2024, 18:51

    Does this mean Lewis is a numpty, for his incident with Alex that prevented him from potentially getting his first win?

    Reply moderated
  8. Toto being a class act as usual.

  9. Toto really is out of touch with reality.
    He’s just been an embarrassment for Mercedes Benz for years now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.